My life group at church will be reading Romans this fall, and I’ve started reading through it just to be preemptively prepared. I started from the beginning of the book this morning and didn’t get very far before I hit the following verses:
Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Romans 1:4b-6, NRSV
I’ve known for a long time that faith is more than just belief; more than just thinking that there’s a God out there who sent his son Jesus to save the world (and me). I acknowledge that faith requires more from us – a different way of being and engaging the world. Faith without corresponding life change is rather weak or dead. It’s belief without teeth.
What God did this morning was remind me of how much my faith has become just words over the past couple of years. A belief that God is out there. But a decided lack of trust that God is going to work things out if I just follow where he leads. The past 6 years of trying to have a baby has taken a toll on my faith life. And everything keeps coming back to the same question.
Do I want a baby more than I want Jesus?
A few days ago – heck, a few minutes ago- I would have said I’m not sure. Most likely I would have said I think I want the baby more. And it’s natural to want kids – don’t get me wrong. But this morning I realized something, I don’t want the part of me who would choose the baby over Jesus to become a mother. The best parts of me to nurture and care for someone are only in abundance when I’m living in the “obedience of faith” that Paul talks about.
On the hopeful front, for the first time in about 5 years, I feel like I’m actually moving towards the obedience front. I am enrolled in seminary and finishing up the masters degree I started 8 years ago. And I’m relying a lot more on faith that God is going to work out the details for what he has called me to do. And I keep having to remind myself over and over “that the One who call you is faithful and he will do it!”